VOICES OF THE SEA – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Mariela lives in Cajio Beach, a seaside village in Cuba, and dreams of escaping to America to make a better life for her children, for whom she’d love bigger horizons than working as fishermen. It’s a living that may not even be viable anymore, if the meager catches her husband, Pita, typically brings home are any indication… but it’s just about the only work around. All of Cuba may be poor, but Mariela and her family and friends are far from the hustle of Havana, even, and the desolation and the desperation of their existence are palpable. And yet so is the joy and the camaraderie of their little town, as seen through the sensitive eye of British documentarian Kim Hopkins, who brings a poignant poeticism to her portrait of hard going in a beautiful place, and of the love, laughter, and community that, perhaps, make the struggle just that little bit more tolerable.

Hopkins knows Cuba, its people, and the restrictions on its filmmakers: she cofounded the documentary department at an international film school there in the 1990s. And she knows how to get around those restrictions. Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her AWFJ.org archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).